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10 Disaster Preparedness Tips That Are Often Overlooked

emergencyprepchecklist_medIs your home prepared in case a disaster strikes? We’ve talked this month about creating a home inventory and preparing an action plan for your family. Today, we are going to focus on simple home organizing tips that are often overlooked when preparing your home for unexpected disasters. The key to handling a disaster with the least amount of anxiety possible is to be prepared beforehand. Here are this Professional Organizer in NYC’s top 10 tips to ensure that your home is ready for an emergency.

  1. If your power goes out and you have time and are safe, unplug your appliances and electronics. This will prevent any potential damage from electricity surges when the power comes back on.
  2. Store dry food products in waterproof containers high enough off the ground. This will keep them safely out of the way in case of flooding.
  3. Try and avoid opening and closing your refrigerator multiple times after the power goes as it allows the cold air to get out faster and your food to spoil sooner. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Information Service recommends using an appliance thermometer in both your fridge and freezer to help you determine if your food is safe to eat.
  4. Prepack an emergency bag that you can take with you in case you need to leave your home. Similar to an emergency kit to be kept in your home, you’ll want to include items like flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, food and water for your family. You can get a more complete list from the FEMA website.
  5. If you haven’t already, install carbon monoxide alarms and smoke detectors in every room in your home. These are especially important when the power is out and you may be utilizing alternative heat or light sources. Make sure you regularly check the batteries.
  6. Make sure that emergency telephone numbers (including police, fire, close family members, etc) are posted by your phone so that your entire family can access them. Also keep a copy in your wallet in case your phone service isn’t working.
  7. Understand when and how to turn off the utilities in your home, including water, gas, and electricity, at the main switches. A good source for learning about those types of disasters which require main switch shut-off is the FEMA website.
  8. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher in a convenient location in your home and that every family member knows how to use it.
  9. Take a Red Cross first aid and CPR class. You’ll learn important life skills that can serve you well in multiple disaster situations.
  10. Determine the safest places in your home for each type of disaster. Understand where to go during a tornado compared to a hurricane, and determine the best escape routes from your home.

Whether we think a disaster will never happen to us or we feel that we’d be able to make good choices should the time come, the truth of the matter is preparation is key. This Professional Organizer in NYC urges you to follow these simple tips and get prepared today.

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